Like a Son
Verse 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.
Paul takes a pause in his theological discussion with his friends to single out a couple of mutual friends to commend. We will take a day to talk about each of them starting with Timothy.
Paul and Timothy had a very special relationship. Timothy was recruited by Paul while the apostle was on his second missionary journey. Timothy’s father was Greek and his mother was Jewish. Having been raised as a Greek, Timothy wasn’t circumcised and so before taking him along Paul arranged for the mark of the Jewish people be made on his young friend.
The friendship between the two men grew resulting in more of a father and son relationship. Paul needed someone to pour his knowledge into and Timothy was the perfect young man for the position. Over the years they had many opportunities for Timothy to be mentored and learn to mentor. Timothy learned many things from Paul and Paul learned things from Timothy as well.
The relationship between Paul and Timothy was deep enough that Timothy came to care about the things that Paul cared about. Timothy had witnessed Paul’s love for these people in Philippi and had known them personally since he was along for the missionary journey where Paul met them. Timothy had been with Paul at the prayer meeting when they met Lydia and though not in the jail with Paul and Silas, Timothy would have experienced the earthquake.
The best of Christian relationships work that way. We learn from each other and teach each other through living life together. We are to encourage each other on to growth whether it means rebuking spiritual short-comings or rejoicing over the small victories in our faith. We learn to care for the things that concern the other person.
These types of relationships are as necessary in the Church today as they were during Paul’s time. We all need to have at least one person who is like a Paul in our lives, teaching us what it means to walk in Christ. But we also need at least one person whom we are pouring ourselves into. This is a blessing of the family of God.
Making It Personal
Who has been a mentor in your life? Who are you helping along in their faith? How can you encourage a fellow believer today?
Making It Personal Kids
Who helps you grow to be more like Jesus? Do you help others to grow to be more like Jesus? Who can you encourage to live like Jesus today?
Father, thank You for placing us in each other’s lives to deepen our relationship with You. May we never take these relationships for granted. In Jesus’ name, amen.